The Best Computing Device… Ever…

Ok… it’s been almost a month since I picked it up early on a Saturday morning… This thing just keeps on impressing me more and more… One thing that you have to admit about Apple… they do it right…

Obviously, I’m talking about my iPad… Seems already the world is divided (funny how Apple can do that over and over…) into two major camps… Those who love the thing, and those who (although they don’t hate it) don’t get it… yet…

I got my first laptop in the late 80’s, probably around ’88 or ’89… Since then, I have been working with computing devices almost full time, and have tried everything… laptops, Palms, Windows Mobile devices, laptops, more Palm devices, netbooks (more than one…), smart phones, etc… (even got close to getting a Newton way back, but didn’t take the plunge fortunately…) About a year ago, I got my first iPhone, and it was, along with my 13″ Macbook, pretty close to nirvana… A great laptop paired with a great mobile device… what else would you need… Then I watched the keynote in February of the iPad… and before I even got one, I thought that things were going to get better… And when I picked it up… game over…

Funny since then that I have heard all of the typical comments about its flaws… (and also funny is how they generally come from someone who has never held one, let alone given one a good run through…) But in the immortal words of Rhett… “Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn”… It’s one of those things that you have to just get… and if you don’t, well… let’s just say that you aren’t going to have as much fun as the rest of us… :)

So on to the list of what is great about the device… In some semblance of order…

  • Battery life – They claimed 10 hours… I’m getting between 10 and 12, depending on what I’m doing… 10 hours… with WiFi on… playing movies… Give me a break… My best battery life on a netbook was a third of that…
  • Browsing the web with your fingers – Yeah, I know you don’t get it if you haven’t… but after a few weeks, you really miss it when you can’t… It is so natural, and just feels right…
  • Apps – Take the good ones for the iPhone, and if the developers get it right when they port them, they go from great to unbelievable… Sure not all of them are ported yet, but they are coming out every day, and there are enough so far that you really have more than you need… I’ll be posting in the near future on my top apps to have… so far…
  • Instant on – Macbook from suspend to login… maybe 10 seconds, then the login process, up and running in less than 30 seconds… seems great… until you are working in under 5 seconds with the iPad…
  • The onscreen keyboard – Yeah, I know that people pick on it… but if I have something on the screen that I can tap out 50 words a minute on, with autocorrect that works amazingly well, what more do you need for a meeting or email…? I can hook up my bluetooth keyboard if I need to, but in almost a month have only done it to play with the idea…
  • The feel of it – It just feels right… if you have used one, you get it… if not, don’t comment… I got the Apple case, which is okay (a bit cheap for such a great device in my opinion…) but will be getting a nice slip case when they come out… It’s made to be held without anything on it…

Enough of the positives… there are many, many more, but you get the picture… Now to address some of the complaints…

  • No Multitasking – LOL… Yeah… I miss it so much I think I’ll sell mine… Really… when you can switch from one app to another in a few seconds, you need it for what…? Sure some of the apps don’t handle it as well as they could, but that will get better… and in the 4.0 OS update, all will be right with the world… If someone could explain why you need things running in the background, maybe I would listen… and don’t go stupid… you don’t get this to compile code on… Which brings me to the next complaint…
  • I’m a power user, it won’t work for me – Seriously now… if I can use one of these and like it, maybe you should give it a try… I worked with code for a living for over a decade… wrote my gajillion lines of code… can program in half a dozen languages and use and read a dozen more… designed systems companies run on… admin Windows, Linux, Unix, Mac systems… me thinks I qualify as a power user, and I’ll stand on the statement that you can be a “power user” and love one of these things…
  • It’s just an oversize iPhone – Yeah, that’s right… so what…? and with that oversized iPhone, you can do a whole lot more than any normal person would have to do with a computing device…
  • No camera – This one always makes me laugh… That’s what you get a phone with a camera for… Plus, in a few months, there will be bluetooth cameras and apps galore that will allow you to Skype away with an iPad… for me, I never would use it, but whatever…
  • No Flash – Flash sucks anyway… good choice Steve…
  • Apps are closed, not open – If everyone who spouted this never used anything but Ubuntu with only open source apps, maybe it would ring with some credibility… but if you use Word or Excel, and say this… well let’s just say you should think before you speak…

Ok… enough rambling for today… All that I can say is that in almost 25 years of using computing devices of all kinds, and for that long looking for the ultimate device to carry around, take to meetings, take on a plane, keep on the table while watching TV, take to a contest, and almost anything else I can think of… this is it… I’m not going to get rid of my laptop… or my desktop… they have their places… (in full disclosure, I’ll mention that I am typing this on a desktop computer… horror of horrors…) But paired with a good laptop and phone, it doesn’t get any better than this…

First indoor of the season…

Here today at Kent, the first indoor event of the 2010 season… Quite a few here this year, many more than last year… Richmond, Kagan, Gowen, Ray, Saks, Loucka, Sova, The Tyson’s, and The Sluszarks are here, to name a few… Curtis and Parker are working with Ben getting ready for the WC this summer, and there are quite a few scale flyers here also…

Glad to see the turnout is good this year… Hopefully enough to keep this one going for next year…

New Hosting…

Ok… so I haven’t posted in years on this blog… (I’ve been busy… and not that anyone was paying any attention anyway…)

I just moved it over from WordPress to hosting on Squarespace.com… SS is one of the most amazing sites that I have used in years… Takes all of 5 minutes to set up a site, templates are nice out of the box, and the iPhone app for updating is gorgeous… I decided to move the blog and start again after I put my HoodsWood.com site on SS… Maybe I have more to ramble on about now…

ASUS Eee PC…

I just picked up an ASUS Eee PC (4G version) and it is (so far…) exactly what I have been looking for… It is small, light, fast, and is Linux to boot… Works great with Google Docs and Gmail, and I can even shell into servers if necessary…<br/><br/>I’ve tried Palms (too many to mention…), Pocket PC (sold that on EBay a week after I bought it…), multiple laptops and many other things… this thing is just too cool… check it out at eeepc.asus.com … And at $399 it is definitely the best bang for the buck of any laptop/PDA that I have seen yet…<br/><br/>This should be great to take to contests this year…  I’m converting my Indoor Utilities to run on it, and will be putting a spreadsheet together instead of a notebook…